The Chance by Robyn Carr

the chance

  • Title:  The Chance
  • Series:  Thunder Point, #4
  • Author:  Robyn Carr
  • Published:  February 2014 – Harlequin MIRA
  • Source:  Publisher

Synopsis:  With its breathtaking vistas and down-to-earth people, Thunder Point is the perfect place for FBI agent Laine Carrington to recuperate from a gunshot wound and contemplate her future. The locals embraced Laine as one of their own after she risked her life to save a young girl from a dangerous cult. Knowing her wounds go beyond the physical, Laine hopes she’ll fit in for a while and find her true self in a town that feels safe. She may even learn to open her heart to others, something an undercover agent has little time to indulge. 
Eric Gentry is also new to Thunder Point. Although he’s a man with a dark past, he’s determined to put down roots and get to know the daughter he only recently discovered. When Laine and Eric meet, their attraction is obvious to everyone. But while the law enforcement agent and the reformed criminal want to make things work, their differences may run too deep…unless they take a chance on each other and find that deep and mysterious bond that belongs to those who choose love over fear.  (publisher)

My take:  I think fans of the Thunder Point series are going to love this book. I did! We met Laine and Eric in previous books (as secondary characters) and I’m so glad Robyn Carr gave them their own book. Laine is taking stock of her life after a life-changing event and Eric is seeking redemption from his earlier life. In fact, he’s probably already found redemption and is on the path of making people wonder if he was ever that person. What they need to find out is if they can continue to live a new life with each other. What they don’t expect is the knock at the door that will change their life. No spoiler but I have to say Carr really nailed the heartbreaking issues involved with this storyline.

Then we have secondary characters, most of whom we’ve met in earlier books: Al who has worked for Eric several times but never stays very long. He’s a good person so Eric is always glad to have him back. Ray Anne, who becomes Al’s love interest, has been around the block a few times. These two were fun to watch as they fell in love. They’re older (50-60ish) than the usual romance couple. I love that and wish Robyn Carr would write more for that demographic. She’d find lots of fans, I’m certain. This couple’s storyline will arc into the next book. At least it better! My one issue with the book was the abrupt ending. I’m ok that strings weren’t tied in bows as long as those strings find their way into book 5 🙂 There’s also the three brothers who’ve been split up due to their mother’s terminal illness. They are part of Al’s story that will hopefully be broadened in the next book.

Like I mentioned, I loved this installment of the Thunder Point series. I’m really looking forward to the next book.

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The Cottage on Juniper Ridge by Sheila Roberts

the cottage on juniper ridge

  • Title:  The Cottage on Juniper Ridge
  • Series:  Life in Icicle Falls, #4
  • Author:  Sheila Roberts
  • Published:  February 2014 – Harlequin MIRA
  • Source:  Publisher

Synopsis:  How to Change Your Life…   Can a book change your life? Yes, when it’s Simplicity, Muriel Sterling’s guide to plain living. In fact, it inspires Jen Heath to leave her stressful, over-committed life in Seattle and move to Icicle Falls, where she rents a lovely little cottage on Juniper Ridge. And where she can enjoy simple pleasures—like joining the local book club—and complicated ones, like falling in love with her sexy landlord, Garrett Armstrong. 
Her sister Toni is ready for a change, too. She’s got a teenage daughter who’s constantly texting her friends, a husband who’s more involved with his computer than he is with her, and a son who’s consumed by video games. Toni wants her family to grow closer—to return to a simpler way of life. 
Other women in town, like Stacy Thomas, are also inspired to unload their excess stuff and some of the extra responsibilities they’ve taken on. 
But as they all discover, sometimes life simply happens. It doesn’t always happen simply!

My take:  I think most readers will be able to relate to at least one, if not most, of the characters in Sheila Roberts’ latest novel. Who hasn’t felt overwhelmed, over-committed, or just plain frustrated by the frenetic pace of life at one time or another?

One of Icicle Falls’ own is an author whose recent book is a manual on how to get your life back by simplifying it. The Icicle Falls book club selects the book and the members start to use the advice. Jen, the newest member of the book club, received the book from her sister and moved to Icicle Falls after reading it so she’s already committed to change. Stacy has let her desire for things rule her life to the point that she starts to worry she may be a hoarder. Chita, a single mom of two, has scheduled herself with commitments and responsibilities to the point of near exhaustion. Will simplifying their lives be worth all the effort? You’ll have to read The Cottage on Juniper Ridge to find out.

I enjoyed this book. It is light in tone yet drives the point home that ultimately a simpler life can equal a better life. I would have to agree!

Sunday Post and Buzz Books 2014 Spring/Summer

Book arrivals – linked to Mailbox Monday

Just Destiny (April 26)  balancing it all

Last week on Bookfan:

  • Review:  Almost Perfect by Susan Mallery
  • Review:  Thrown For A Curve by Sugar Jamison

Currently reading:

  • Blue Jeans and Coffee Beans by Joanne DeMaio

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buzz books 2014Buzz Books 2014 Spring/Summer from Publishers Lunch

I mentioned this volume in my Book Arrivals a few weeks ago. This is such a great way to find upcoming books you want to read/feature. Included are excerpts from many Spring and Summer releases in various genres. Some have a link to request the galley at the end of the excerpt.

I’m so glad it was available to bloggers and other reviewers through NetGalley.

The books that caught my eye:

one plus one (july 1) four friends the beekeeper's ball

These titles were found in the fiction category. There are also Debut Fiction; Nonfiction; and Young Adult books.

Happy reading!

Thrown for a Curve by Sugar Jamison

thrown for a curve (feb. 25)

  • Title:  Thrown for a Curve
  • Series:  Perfect Fit, #2
  • Author:  Sugar Jamison
  • Genre:  Contemporary Romance
  • Published:  February 25, 2014 – St. Martin’s Press
  • Source:  Publisher

Synopsis:  Cherri has often wished she were thin and graceful like a ballerina instead of being a six-foot-tall blonde with curves that require serious caution. Surely a charming Irishman like her new boss Colin, with his throaty brogue and to-die-for bod, would never go for someone like Cherri. Unless maybe he’s looking for the exact opposite of a delicate lass?  When Colin hired Cherri to work in his furniture-restoration shop, he had his eyes, first and foremost, on her artistic talents. But now he can’t help but see Cherri for the lush, spirited beauty that she is…and, soon enough, he finds himself mixing business with pleasure. But Cherri turns out to be more vulnerable than she appears. Is she in need of more than Colin can give? Or could it be that a feeling stronger than lust has him thrown for a curve?

My take:  Thrown for a Curve had me with the tall, charming Irishman 🙂 I enjoyed this contemporary romance. Sugar Jamison gives the reader characters you can cheer for and used tried and true themes. Cherri doesn’t realize how beautiful she is and has never felt comfortable with her tall, curvy stature. Colin loves women but doesn’t trust them. His own mother left him when he was a baby and he caught the last woman he loved (and planned to marry) having fun with another guy. Can these two find love and a future? You’ll have fun finding out. I did!

Note:  Although this is the second book in the Perfect Fit series I didn’t feel I was missing anything by not reading the first book. That said, I hope to read Dangerous Curves Ahead soon.

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SugarJamisonPhotoAbout Sugar Jamison:

Sugar Jamison is a Southern belle trapped in a New Yorker’s body. With a love of big hair and high heeled shoes, she spends her day at her very normal day job and night dreaming up sweet and sassy romances. Visit her on the Web at www.sugarjamison.com.

Almost Perfect by Susan Mallery

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  • Title:  Almost Perfect
  • Series:  Fool’s Gold, #2
  • Author:  Susan Mallery
  • Narrator:  Tanya Eby
  • Genre:  Contemporary Romance
  • Published:  June 2010 – Brilliance Audio
  • Source:  Purchased

Synopsis:  Back in high school, Liz Sutton was the girl from the wrong side of the tracks. Then she’d stolen the heart of the most popular boy in town and their secret romance helped her through the worst of times. Until Ethan Hendrix betrayed her and everything they’d ever meant to each other. Devastated and pregnant, Liz left Fool’s Gold, California forever, she thought. Now Liz must return to town and face the man who doesn’t know of their son’s existence. And this time she won’t have the option of making a quick getaway. Ethan and Liz can’t deny their passionate attraction, even after all these years. But will their desire be enough to spark a second chance at love? (publisher)

My take:  Almost Perfect is the second book in the Fool’s Gold series. I’ve read a few books out of order but I’ve found they can stand alone and I always enjoy my visits to Fool’s Gold. I thought Tanya Eby did a fine job with the narration.

I liked Liz. She’s an author who really doesn’t want anything to do with the town where she grew up. When she’s called home to Fool’s Gold for a family matter she drops everything and returns. Once there she deals with more than the family matter – she sees Ethan and stuns him with her news. I found Ethan  not very likable. I get why he’s upset but he was kind of a jerk through most of the book.

Susan Mallery’s story held my interest throughout. I had to see how Liz and Ethan would find their way to a happy ending. Woven into the main story was the thread about Liz’s nieces who’ve been abandoned by a stepmother. They depend on Liz to save them.  Familiar characters from the first book make appearances and, along with a few new ones, set the reader’s expectations for future books.

Sunday Post

Book arrivals:

barefoot season - audio Angel's Rest Nest. Flight.Sky.

Purchased:

to rise again at a decent hour May 13

Won:

when the cypress whispers (april) the never never sisters (June)

For review:

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Last week on Bookfan:

  • Review:  Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen
  • Review:  The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

Currently reading:

  • Four Friends by Robyn Carr

Happy reading!

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

trp

  • Title:  The Rosie Project
  • Author:  Graeme Simsion
  • Narrator:  Dan O’Grady
  • Genre:  Fiction
  • Published:  October 2013 – Simon & Schuster Audio
  • Source:  Purchased

Synopsis:  MEET DON TILLMAN, a brilliant yet socially challenged professor of genetics, who’s decided it’s time he found a wife. And so, in the orderly, evidence-based manner with which Don approaches all things, he designs the Wife Project to find his perfect partner: a sixteen-page, scientifically valid survey to filter out the drinkers, the smokers, the late arrivers. 

Rosie Jarman is all these things. She also is strangely beguiling, fiery, and intelligent. And while Don quickly disqualifies her as a candidate for the Wife Project, as a DNA expert Don is particularly suited to help Rosie on her own quest: identifying her biological father. When an unlikely relationship develops as they collaborate on the Father Project, Don is forced to confront the spontaneous whirlwind that is Rosie—and the realization that, despite your best scientific efforts, you don’t find love, it finds you.  (publisher)

My brief take:  The Rosie Project is Graeme Simsion’s charming novel about a socially awkward professor on the search for the perfect wife. When he meets Rosie he quickly determines she’ll not be a candidate for the Wife Project. These two people seem about as far apart on the compatible scale as two people could be so they don’t even think about a romantic involvement. That made their story even more enjoyable. It’s a bit of a comedy of errors at times that had me laughing as I listened. To that point – I’m glad I listened to the audiobook. Dan O’Grady did a great job voicing the various characters. His narration added to my enjoyment of the novel. Recommended.